We came across this tapas bar near the City Hall in Sevilla one evening, liked what we saw, went inside, and liked it so much we came back the next evening. It must have been someone’s birthday – there was a celebratory group of people, laughing, drinking, singing, clapping, and the whole scene, the ambience, the joyousness, was quite lovely and quite mesmerising.
The Real Alcazar, the royal residence built in 1364 by Pedro the First within the Almohad palaces of Spain’s former Moorish rulers, is a place of breathtaking beauty, the subtlety, the delicacy, the perfection of its spaces a song for the soul.
A long outer wall curves along the boundary of Santa Cruz, the Juderia or Jewish ghetto, concealing from view the Gardens of the Alcazar: one morning, as we sought its shade, the sunlight seemed to strike like a scimitar or blade.
They call Sevilla, or so I am told, ‘the frying pan.’ And man, it is hot. Or at least it was when we were there, in September; the sun baking into the stones and reflecting back so that by mid-afternoon you were in an oven, and only beginning to cool after eight or so in the evening.
But the evenings are long, and the good citizens of Sevilla – like those of every other town we visited – know how to live. Living, in the Spanish way of life, means going out at 8 or 9, having dinner at 10 or 11, and wandering from tapas bar to tapas bar way into the small hours of the morning.
This image, of a cafe in Sevilla, in the evening, offers a more sedate but still typical portrait.
Did I tell you that we loved Sevilla? Oh boy, we did. We’d go back in a flash, Rob and I.